Music Lessons for 5 Year Old - Clarinet? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 20 Old 05-18-2009, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommyabroad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DS is 5 1/2 and has been captivated by Peter and the Wolf. He now wants to learn to play the clarinet. I have no musical background and DH plays the trumpet and thinks piano is the way to start. But when DS has his mind set on something, it's usually for a very good reason and I trust his interests

Where do I start? We went to the music store and they said to start him on piano -- that he was too young to have enough wind. I'm not so sure about that one ....
mommyabroad is offline  
#2 of 20 Old 05-18-2009, 01:29 PM
 
moondiapers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Lakeport, California
Posts: 6,151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyabroad View Post
DS is 5 1/2 and has been captivated by Peter and the Wolf. He now wants to learn to play the clarinet. I have no musical background and DH plays the trumpet and thinks piano is the way to start. But when DS has his mind set on something, it's usually for a very good reason and I trust his interests

Where do I start? We went to the music store and they said to start him on piano -- that he was too young to have enough wind. I'm not so sure about that one ....
generally children don't have big enough hands to play a woodwind instrument until around age 9. You'll probably have a hard time finding a teacher that will start younger. The piccalo is mall enough and may work though.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
moondiapers is offline  
#3 of 20 Old 05-18-2009, 01:41 PM
 
joensally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,977
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyabroad View Post
DS is 5 1/2 and has been captivated by Peter and the Wolf. He now wants to learn to play the clarinet. I have no musical background and DH plays the trumpet and thinks piano is the way to start. But when DS has his mind set on something, it's usually for a very good reason and I trust his interests

Where do I start? We went to the music store and they said to start him on piano -- that he was too young to have enough wind. I'm not so sure about that one ....
My son is also self-directed, although it proved shaky regarding musical instrument choice and DS. When he was 5 he was SET on violin, so we went with violin. It didn't work out, but that could very much be because we chose the suzuki route which involved a lot of pre-work before actually playing the violin.

This year, he's learning piano and making good progress with both playing and music theory. When he's become reasonably proficient on the piano, he'll start guitar.

If you really want to try clarinet, I'd recommend trying to find an instructor who's a fit and willing to take a five year old as a starting point.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

joensally is offline  
#4 of 20 Old 05-18-2009, 04:46 PM
 
daytripper75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Here, There, and Everywhere.
Posts: 1,529
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think that a clarinet would be really difficult to play at 5. Hand size, breath and lungs. I think that if he wants to start with a woodwind, a recorder might be a better option. I also really like the piano idea.

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
daytripper75 is offline  
#5 of 20 Old 05-18-2009, 04:59 PM
 
prairiemommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: in bed, nak'ing
Posts: 1,432
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by daytripper75 View Post
I think that a clarinet would be really difficult to play at 5. Hand size, breath and lungs. I think that if he wants to start with a woodwind, a recorder might be a better option. I also really like the piano idea.
:

I am a woodwind player.

Recorder has the benefit of being an instant gratification instrument - you blow, it plays fairly decently. So then all you need to do is get the fingering in place. My five, now six year old, plays fine.

As a university student, even *I* had trouble reaching all the keys/holes on a clarinet as my hands are small. In addition, I could never be a bassoon player no matter how much I love the instrument. My hands are just too small. But they're a good deal bigger than my 6 year old's hands (who is average sized).

As for the pp who suggested piccolo - I would never teach a young child to play a piccolo. While it's a small instrument, it is very difficult to play - just getting it to make a noise can be a very big challenge - much less getting it to play in tune and being able to play its full range. I do know that my former flute teacher starts teaching kids flute around age 7 or so - with the curved head joint though.

I have a 9 year old who is dying to play french horn but he even has to wait as his lungs/breathing just aren't mature enough yet and he's still too small/not strong enough to hold it correctly.

Another thought would be an Orff program that would expose your son to different instruments and they give a wonderful base for starting other instruments later on. Or even supplement some at-home recorder playing with Orff. Our library has a ton of books geared towards beginning recorder.

It is much better to start them off on an instrument that is appropriate than an instrument that can cause a lot of frustration. There really are so many options out there that would give him musical experience without the frustration.
prairiemommy is offline  
#6 of 20 Old 05-18-2009, 06:06 PM
 
notjustmamie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 1,962
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to play clarinet. I would say that unless you have a REALLY careful, patient, and responsible 5yo, that's not the place to start. Reeds are cheap, but they break quite easily. Playing in tune (rather than producing squeals/screeches) can take a lot of practice--and you need to be able to fully cover the holes with your fingers to get the right notes.

I'd second the recorder suggestion.

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
notjustmamie is offline  
#7 of 20 Old 05-18-2009, 06:23 PM
 
greenmamapagan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Southern Hemisphere
Posts: 721
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There is a clarinet designed specifically for young children. Five would be surprisingly young even for that, but if he's as self-directed as you say I would look into the kinderklari
http://www.ozwinds.com.au/product_in...oducts_id=1465
The recorder could be an option but I would be careful to find a good teacher who knows where he really wants to be headed.
By the way, I'm a flautist and I would never start a young child on a piccolo, I would recommend a curved headjoint flute or a fife if they were too small even for that. Again, there is also a model of flute that not only has a curved headjoint but has keys adapted for very small hands.

grateful Mama to DD May '06 and DS May '09
greenmamapagan is offline  
#8 of 20 Old 05-18-2009, 08:30 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,679
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
I would second everything that has been said about hand size and breath control. The Kinderklari looks interesting. I'm familiar with curved head-joint flutes with adapted keys but I'd never seen the clarinet scaled down.

The problem I would see would be finding a clarinet teacher skilled at working with 5-year-olds. I'm no stranger to young children and music lessons; I know they can learn very well indeed. Heck my 6yo is playing Vivaldi and Bach violin concertos and has been playing in an orchestra for the past year. But it requires a very special teacher and a very special pedagogical style to teach a child of this age, even one who is very gifted. You can't simply present the standard approach you'd use for an 11-year-old, but more slowly. You need a whole other bag of tricks and a great deal of flexibility and creativity.

Having said that, if you can find such a person, go for it! That cat theme in Peter is pretty neat -- and pretty easy to play. I don't blame your ds for being attracted.

Another possibility would be spend the summer exploring the various orchestral instruments, by attending children's concerts, outdoor performances, student performances or whatever your community has to offer. You might find that with real-life exposure he gets just as enamoured by cello, or flute, or violin, or some other instrument more readily available for young children.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#9 of 20 Old 05-19-2009, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
mommyabroad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the great ideas. I had never thought about a recorder although after it was mentioned, I remember "playing" one as a child. I agree that finding a child-friendly teacher is key no matter the instrument.

Can't wait to help DS get started down the musical path...
mommyabroad is offline  
#10 of 20 Old 05-19-2009, 02:27 PM
 
EdnaMarie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by daytripper75 View Post
I think that a clarinet would be really difficult to play at 5. Hand size, breath and lungs. I think that if he wants to start with a woodwind, a recorder might be a better option. I also really like the piano idea.
Just what I wanted to say. The recorder is pretty easy and you can get a REALLY cheap one to try it out. Clarinets are hard (the reed!) and even the very cheapest playable one is a lot of money for a toy.
Quote:
I'm a flautist and I would never start a young child on a piccolo,
I played the flute for years and totally agree. The piccolo is hard! It takes forever even on a flute just to get a sound out.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
EdnaMarie is offline  
#11 of 20 Old 05-20-2009, 03:16 AM
 
Tigerle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
Just what I wanted to say. The recorder is pretty easy and you can get a REALLY cheap one to try it out. Clarinets are hard (the reed!) and even the very cheapest playable one is a lot of money for a toy.
Sorry, couldn't stop myself from quoting this quote from Webb's book on parenting gifted children:

"That's why you RENT the clarinet!"

Mesleepytime.gifDH geek.gif DS1 10/06 drum.gif DD 08/10 notes.gifDS2 10/12babyf.gifwith SB ribbonyellow.gif and cat.gifcat.gif 
Tigerle is online now  
#12 of 20 Old 05-20-2009, 03:17 AM
 
Tigerle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
On a more serious note: I second both the recorder and the Orff suggestion. While playing Orff instruments is very low-skill in itself, the ensemble playing skills you can learn at such a young age are great.

Mesleepytime.gifDH geek.gif DS1 10/06 drum.gif DD 08/10 notes.gifDS2 10/12babyf.gifwith SB ribbonyellow.gif and cat.gifcat.gif 
Tigerle is online now  
#13 of 20 Old 05-20-2009, 01:19 PM
 
lindberg99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,815
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by prairiemommy View Post
:

Recorder has the benefit of being an instant gratification instrument - you blow, it plays fairly decently. So then all you need to do is get the fingering in place. My five, now six year old, plays fine.

As for the pp who suggested piccolo - I would never teach a young child to play a piccolo. While it's a small instrument, it is very difficult to play - just getting it to make a noise can be a very big challenge - much less getting it to play in tune and being able to play its full range. I do know that my former flute teacher starts teaching kids flute around age 7 or so - with the curved head joint though.
Yes to all of this. I started playing flute in my 20's and I was able to play it quite easily. I tried a piccolo one time during a flute choir rehearsal and I thought I was going to pop an artery in my head from blowing so hard, it was really hard to play!

My dd taught herself to play the recorder and she recently started on the clarinet at age 10. If you go with a recorder, buy a wooden one. They sound much better than the plastic.

Another instrument to consider is a tin whistle.

Oh, and prairiemommy, I played the French horn for a few years. We started in 5th grade (10 yo) on something that I think was called a mellophone? Then we got the French horn in 6th grade at 11 so your son hopefully won't have to wait too much longer. But yes, it takes a lot of air blown through a very tiny mouthpiece. My jaw used to just ache, which was one of the reasons why I quit after 8th grade.
lindberg99 is offline  
#14 of 20 Old 05-20-2009, 06:26 PM
 
EdnaMarie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post
Sorry, couldn't stop myself from quoting this quote from Webb's book on parenting gifted children:

"That's why you RENT the clarinet!"
True, but you could buy a flock of recorders every month even with the rental money.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
EdnaMarie is offline  
#15 of 20 Old 05-21-2009, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommyabroad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 399
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bought a recorder DS was open to it and told DH that "mommy bought it first so I could work on my wind and fingers" And that it only cost $8.00. LOL.
mommyabroad is offline  
#16 of 20 Old 05-21-2009, 05:13 PM
 
daytripper75's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Here, There, and Everywhere.
Posts: 1,529
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Excellent!!! :

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
daytripper75 is offline  
#17 of 20 Old 05-21-2009, 06:31 PM
 
Tigerle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
True, but you could buy a flock of recorders every month even with the rental money.
Guess so, I've never rented one but the OP seems to have made a good bargain on a recorder. I probably should have mentioned the context of the quote, which isn't about the cost of buying or renting a specific instrument, but tongue-in-cheek advice directed at parents of gifties who complain that their kids develop these sudden intense and expensive passions which then don't last...I just loved how it fit the subject matter of this thread so exactly!

to the OP's kid for accepting the advice to start with the recorder as opposed to insisting on the clarinet. My 2.5-year-old loves watching me play the violin (the rare moments I get around to it) and we have tried out a 1/16th violin at the music school open house. Of course he said he wanted to learn to play but I told him you have to be at least 3 (which I think is when Suzuki teachers start) and to play the piano with me until then and he accepted that. Operative word being "at least". No idea whether he's musically gifted: he seems to enjoy accompanying the children's songs I play and sing with variations on the 5th I show him, but refuses to sing himself so far - on being asked why not, he told my mother it's because he can't sing as well as Mama. Whatever that is about...

Mesleepytime.gifDH geek.gif DS1 10/06 drum.gif DD 08/10 notes.gifDS2 10/12babyf.gifwith SB ribbonyellow.gif and cat.gifcat.gif 
Tigerle is online now  
#18 of 20 Old 05-22-2009, 03:05 PM
 
EdnaMarie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6,148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So glad he likes his recorder!

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
EdnaMarie is offline  
#19 of 20 Old 05-23-2009, 05:10 AM
 
BellaClaudia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 479
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
as much as I love the instrumend that requrire some blowing..
I feel that they come with two issuess..

the noise too close to the head
and the blowing is affecting lungs in the long run no matter what...

so for me it would be no no and I would strongly preffer something
further from the head.. piano? :-)

it is amazing hwo much difference that make deffness wise..
and it is an issue with people a lot..

there is an article somehwere .. I googled once nosie level of instruments and got the article on deffness in orchestra members..
per instrument..

so piano had lowest and highest were violine, and all kinds of trumpets and likes..
BellaClaudia is offline  
#20 of 20 Old 05-30-2009, 02:39 PM
 
corps9499's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a musician, I think it's very important to start with piano and voice first. You figure those two out, and you can pretty much learn any other instrument. Piano skills are essential to good musical knowledge, and being able to sing a part before you play it (on any instrument) will make it infinitely easier to play. I also agree with the others that said a recorder is a good first wind instrument. One of the issues with clarinet is that they are so heavy that I would worry about the stress that it would put on a 5 y/o's growing joints/bones in the hands and fingers, kwim?
corps9499 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off